AT SOME POINT IN OUR LIVES, WE ALL NEED A LITTLE HELP.
Sometimes, a little bit of help is all we need. But at some point later in our lives, most of us will need more significant assistance – help with basic activities of daily living. More than 50% of us will need this assistance for an extended period of time. When that day comes, some of us will discover for the first time that our health insurance and Medicare do not provide coverage for long term care expenses. And we will be shocked to learn how expensive that care is – perhaps $30,000 a year on the low end to $80,000 a year or more on the high end, depending on the care we need.
That will be devastating news for our families who will then need to disrupt their lives in order to provide the assistance that we won’t be able to afford having others provide to us. However, the fortunate among us will have long term care insurance to call upon to provide the assistance that we need. But this insurance will only be available if we make provision for it years in advance of when we might expect to call upon it.
Long term care insurance refers to any insurance or annuity product that includes coverage for what we call “help care” – i.e., assistance for people who need help with activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, getting dressed, etc. This encompasses a variety of product types that generally fall into two categories: traditional, stand-alone long term care insurance and hybrid or combo products.
Stand-alone Long Term Care Insurance is an insurance policy that reimburses you for your daily or monthly expenses for Home Health Care, Assisted Living or Nursing Home care. Some policies may pay this as an income benefit at a fixed amount per day or month regardless of your actual expenses. Life insurance as such is not included in the policy although you can generally add a return of premiums death benefit rider at an additional premium cost.
Hybrid Long Term Care Insurance is a life insurance or annuity policy that contains long term care insurance elements. Essentially, a rider is added to a life insurance or annuity policy that allows you to use the death benefit or cash values of the underlying policy to reimburse you for the cost of long term care expenses. Many of these riders provide additional long term care insurance benefits beyond those amounts, generally up to a multiple of the death benefit or cash values of the underlying policy.
There are a wide variety of products within these two categories, several of which may be appropriate for your needs and circumstances. We can help you to understand how the specific products work, what benefit levels are best suited to your needs and budget, the quality and soundness of insurance companies providing the coverage and several other important factors that you should consider.
We work through USA-BGA, America’s leading brokerage general agency serving top insurance and financial professionals throughout the United States. Through their relationships, we have direct access to the leading providers of various forms of long term care insurance such as Mutual of Omaha, OneAmerica, Thrivent and National Guardian Life. This allows us to present to you long term care insurance solutions that are customized to your needs and circumstances.
Let us show you how you can develop your own “help care” plan and then let us present you with options for enabling your plan. This is your life and your family – with the right information, you will know what’s best for you and your loved ones.